Ontario's Climate Change Plan

 

Having done away with the previous government’s Climate Change Action plan, which led to the creation of the Ontario Green Fund and a Cap and Trade system, the current government announced a plan that will see the province invest $400 million over four years on the Ontario Carbon Trust, which is designed to work in partnership with the private sector to increase investment in clean technologies (through an independent board) while imposing performance standards on heavy polluters.

 

One element in particular of the Carbon Trust plan – the reverse auction – is receiving particular attention. The “auction”, which will be infused with $50 million in initial funding, meant to encourage businesses that bid on government contracts to present projects with the lowest cost per tonne of GHG emissions.

 

Of note is the fact that the government’s new plan does not specifically point to energy reduction as a part of any of its primary objectives, focusing instead on conservation of provincial air, land and water, urban waste, climate change resilience, and GHG reductions.

 

However, the plan does illustrate a number of actions that individual Ontarians can take to support provincial Climate Change efforts:

  • adjust your thermostat (2 degrees lower in winter, 2 degrees higher in summer) while sleeping or away from home
  • unplug electronics when you’re not using them
  • try doing your laundry or running the dishwasher before or after peak hours of  7 am and 7 pm
  • fix leaky faucets and upgrade to low-flow toilets
  • if you live in a house, use a rain barrel to collect spring rainfall to water the garden
  • take shorter showers – keeping them under five minutes can save up to 3,500 litres of water per month
  • replace bulbs with longer-lasting energy-efficient LEDs
  • replace insulation
  • purchase energy efficient appliances and products
  • switch out older, polluting wood stoves for newer electric or ultra-efficient wood pellet stoves
  • install energy-efficient heating and cooling systems

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